Sunday, November 9, 2014

Speculative Fiction Blog Hop

My last blog hop participation for 2014 is my part in the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop.  The post prior to this one is by Amelia Smith, who is currently working on a five-volume epic fantasy series with a "bit of an allegorical slant."

1) What am I working on?

I'm late with Book 3 of the Benton zombie novel series.  So that's what I'm finishing up.  Book 3 will be the final book of the adventures of Jennifer Benton.  In Book 1 she started out alone, and now she's traveling with a group of people. Her life has changed dramatically. In Book 1 and Book 2 we lost some people, and we gained some people. Now that we've come to the conclusion, will Jennifer survive the zombie apocalypse or will she die?

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My goal was not to make Benton different from the others.  The story is its own story, but it follows the typical zombie apocalypse survival formula.  As a reader of this genre, I like the familiar, and I'm writing for people who desire the same.

3) Why do I write what I do?

We live in a difficult time filled with natural disasters, terrorist attacks and diseases, such as Ebola.  At any time, entire communities can be wiped out.  I believe that's why the zombie apocalypse theme is so popular.  It's not far-fetched to think that something like a zombie apocalypse could happen in today's times.

4) How does my writing process work?

Because I write full-time, I approach my writing process like a job.  I have a schedule, and I have set writing times.  I have time carved out for my ghostwriting and time carved out for my fiction writing.

My Benton: A Zombie Novel, Volume One is now an audiobook narrated by Angie Hickman. You can listen to the entire audio book for free with an Audible trial. (If the Audible link is not working, try the Amazon link.) The trial includes two free audiobooks; you can choose from 150,000 titles, and after 30 days Audible is $14.95 a month.  You can cancel at any time!  Listen to the sample below:




Last but not least on the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop tour is Jessica Fry.  Her post appears on November 17.



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jolie's Blog Hop Contest Winners for Coffin Hop and Zombie Crawl

I'm pleased to announce the winners of the $5 Amazon gift cards!


From COFFIN HOP:

Nina D'Arcangela

From ZOMBIE CRAWL:

Julia Floyd

Congratulations!  I'll be contacting you both on Monday to send you your gift cards!







Thursday, October 30, 2014

Coffin Hop: Jessica Robinson, Author of Undead Obsessed


Authors are often asked where they find the inspiration to write their stories. In truth, it can come from anywhere. A dream. A snippet of a conversation they overhear. Wherever. Inspiration for nonfiction isn’t much different. It can come from unexpected places. For Undead Obsessed, it came from World War Z and a scene from The Walking Dead and a desire to find answers.

I have been obsessed with zombies since the first time I saw Night of the Living Dead in junior high, and I’ve always wanted to write about them, but I never knew what I wanted to say. Inspiration sprouted after I watched World War Z. The scientific approach of finding the cause of zombies intrigued me.

I had a professor in college who told me that every film has a message, but if you really want to know what society is afraid of, watch horror. Zombie films portray a lot of social fears, including religion, gender, classism, and race, but what I wanted to focus on was science. The vast majority of zombie films I have watched in my life involved science or a scientist in some way—usually in an unflattering role.

My research began after watching the scene in The Walking Dead when the characters were trying to get a zombie out of a well on Hershel’s farm. To me, this mishap meant they contaminated the water supply and were all doomed. But they went on with their lives like nothing had happened, so maybe I was wrong. I had to find answers, and I did.

Speaking with professionals and researching this book was a lot of fun. I learned a lot of new things. I read things I wouldn’t normally read—and enjoyed them. Inspiration came from an unlikely place. It started with the question: Is this really plausible? And it was amazing where the journey took me.

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What got Jessica Robinson into zombies?

Jessica Robinson's obsession with zombie films started when she was in junior high.  Horror films are a great lens to examine concerns society has about modern science.  Let’s face it, when it comes to horror movies, science has a bad reputation.  Blind ambition, experimental serums, and genetic experiments are often blamed for the giant monster terrorizing the city or the reason aliens are taking human prisoners or the cause of the dead rising from the grave to consume living flesh.

Using film, literature, and interviews with experts, Robinson examines how zombies portray real-world fears such as epidemics, mind control, what may or may not exist in space, the repercussions of playing God, and the science behind the fears.  Robinson's goal is to explore how zombies become a metaphor for our fears of science and what could happen if science gets out of hand.

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About Jessica Robinson

Jessica Robinson is an editor by day and a zombie-killer by night (at least in her books).  Since the first time she watched Night of the Living Dead, she has been obsessed with zombies and often thinks of ways to survive the uprising.  In addition to her nonfiction book, under the pen name Pembroke Sinclair, she has written YA novels about zombies and the tough teens who survive the apocalyptic world.

She has also written nonfiction stories for Serial Killer Magazine and published a book about slasher films called Life Lessons from Slasher Films.



You can learn more about Jessica by visiting her at:

http://pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jessicarobinsonauthor

https://twitter.com/PembrokeSinclai

https://plus.google.com/102808614523341154478/posts

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3522214.Pembroke_Sinclair

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To enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card, leave a comment below regarding this Jessica Robinson post.  The winner of the gift card will be announced at this blog on November 1.  (The prize will be emailed to the winner.)



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Coffin Hop, the annual horror author blog tour, runs from October 24 to October 31.  Visit some more blogs participating in the tour! Everyone is giving away prizes!






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Band of Dystopian Zombie Crawl: Zombies, Run! App

Although Coffin Hop runs from October 24 to October 31, my focus today is the Zombie Crawl sponsored by Band of Dystopian.

So let's talk about the very cool Zombies, Run! app.

According to the website:

You are Runner 5. Hundreds of lives are counting on you. You've got to help your base rebuild from the ruins of civilization by collecting critical supplies while avoiding roving zombie hordes. Can you save them and learn the truth about the zombie apocalypse? Even better, you can create your own custom playlists before you start running: the story unfolds in between your tracks through a series of dynamic radio messages and voice recordings.

Zombies, Run! 5k Training is an 8-week training series and audio quest for beginners that will improve your fitness and teach you how to run a 5K distance effectively. It gives you clear and thorough instructions concerning when to walk, run, sprint and draw out, increasing your self-assurance and staying power, in combination with a fascinating story delivered to your headphones.

Just like most running programs, recaps of pace and time, GPS route tracking, as well as a record of finished workouts are all there.  Workouts can be uploaded, tracked, and shared on ZombieLink online for the public factor.

As for the zombie fun, provided by an awesome narrator, it is story motivated and immersive.  I both do and do not advise using this for training on cloudy mornings and dark evenings. We’ve had some cloudy, showery weather around here that presently screams zombie movie, but I also believe my running times improve just from the adrenaline!

Overall, Zombies, Run! is an excellent way to get into running. It's customized for starters or anyone who desires to complete a 5K race.


I'm offering a $5 Amazon gift card as part of the Band of Dystopian's Zombie Crawl! TO ENTER, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW REGARDING THIS ZOMBIE, RUN! POST.  Come back to this blog post on November 1 to find out who won! (Note: During blog hops, I try to make it as easy as possible to comment.  Unfortunately, I notice Blogger has a captcha showing up even though I marked NO CAPTCHA in my settings.  Sorry about that.)



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Zombie Crawl Blog Party Schedule

Party Host & Grand Prize: Band of Dystopian

October 22

October 23

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 29

October 30

October 31


Visit the blogs above as part of Band of Dystopian Zombie Crawl, but be sure to return to Band of Dystopian to enter to win the Grand Prize.






Friday, October 24, 2014

Coffin Hop: 3 Scary Games to Play at Home


Scary games to play at home are perfect for Halloween. Some games are scarier than others, but for an adult Halloween party, the scarier the better. Try one of these three scary games to play at home at your adult Halloween party.

1. Ouija Board

Of the scary games to play at home, the Ouija board is by far one of the scariest, if not the scariest. A Ouija Board is used to talk to spirits. I've been afraid of the Ouija Board as far back as my childhood. To this day I've never played with one. In fact, there are experts who believe that the Ouija Board is dangerous. Jill Stefko says, "Some psychiatric experts believe Ouija boards are portals that free demons from other dimensions to prey on humans."

I've read too many stories about Ouija Boards that I believe are true. But for brave souls that want some truly scary fun, the Ouija Board is it.

2. Atmosfear

This is a board game that also incorporates a DVD. "The aim of Atmosfear is to collect a key from each of the six regions of the board before heading to the "Well of Fears" in the center and attempting to draw your fear from among those of your opponents in order to win the game." This scary game to play at home is not recommended for people under the age of 18.

The DVD acts as a timer and there is a Gatekeeper who appears on screen, causing problems for the players. These appearances are random, so you never know when the Gatekeeper will show up.

3. Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is a scary game to play at home that is a survival horror board game. As a player, you can choose to either play on the Hero team or be one of the zombies. The game comes with a CD of scary music and the art for the game includes photographs of scary zombie images.

(Note: This article is an excerpt from a longer article I wrote at Yahoo a couple of years ago, or so.  Unfortunately, I've found my article stolen by others on the Internet.  I am the author, and everyone else is a plagiarizer.)

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My Benton: A Zombie Novel, Volume One is now an audiobook narrated by Angie Hickman. You can listen to the entire audio book for free with an Audible trial.  The trial includes two free audiobooks; you can choose from 150,000 titles, and after 30 days Audible is $14.95 a month.  You can cancel at any time!  Listen to the sample below:




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To enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card, leave a comment below regarding this scary games post.  The winner of the gift card will be announced at this blog on November 1.  (The prize will be emailed to the winner.)


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Coffin Hop, the annual horror author blog tour, runs from October 24 to October 31.  Visit some more blogs participating in the tour! Everyone is giving away prizes!








Thursday, October 23, 2014

Coffin Hop: Audiobooks


Books can transport us through time and worlds. They can be used to relax, educate, entertain, and so much more. Unfortunately finding the time to curl up with a good book is difficult with the demands of day to day life. Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy a good book while still being able to accomplish all of life's demands and expectations.

There's laundry, meals to prepare, a house to clean. Should you skip all of that to read?  Or, can you exercise some multi-tasking?  Audiobooks solve the problem.

In addition to that, listening to an audiobook can whisk away the humdrum routine of daily tasks. Excitement, mystery, intrigue, romance, and so much more can transform a regular boring activity into something that is enjoyable and refreshing.

How about a two-hour commute to work in the morning, if the traffic is not too bad, and a two-hour drive home after a long day? Exhaustion, stress, frustration, and boredom may be present, and then there's no time to unwind before the duties at home demand attention. Listening to a book is a great way to unwind, relax, and keep drivers alert when on the road. They are also great entertainment tools when on a long drive with the family. Audiobooks encourage children to use their mind and imagination, as well as help pass time on that trip to Grandma and Grandpa's.

Not only are audiobooks an excellent way to pass the time and entertain,  they also are a great way to educate and help sharpen up certain skill sets. Using educational tracks to learn or remember foreign languages, as well as other options, is a wonderful way to kill two birds with one stone. Studying can take place while working, cleaning, driving or numerous other activities.

My Benton: A Zombie Novel, Volume One is now an audiobook narrated by Angie Hickman. You can listen to the entire audio book for free with an Audible trial.  The trial includes two free audiobooks; you can choose from 150,000 titles, and after 30 days Audible is $14.95 a month.  You can cancel at any time!  Listen to the sample below:




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To enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card, leave a comment below regarding this audiobooks post.  The winner of the gift card will be announced at this blog on November 1.  (The prize will be emailed to the winner.)


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Coffin Hop, the annual horror author blog tour, runs from October 24 to October 31.  Visit some more blogs participating in the tour!








Sunday, October 19, 2014

Meet My Character: Jennifer Benton

October is a month of many blog hops for Precious Monsters.  The first one is the Meet My Character Blog Hop.



I was tagged for this hop by SB James.  SB James, formerly of the (in)famous Jersey Shore and now a resident of Florida, has been writing since she was in seventh grade. She is currently working on the five (and a half) book Steampunk series The Inventor's Son. She also dabbles in graphic design and artwork when she has the time, mostly in between chapters.  SB James's main character is Ethan Phillip Stanwood, and you can read about him and learn more about The inventor's Son HERE.

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And now it's time for Jolie's character:

1. What is the name of your character? Is she fictional or a historic person?

Jennifer Benton is my character, and she is a fictional person in my Benton zombie series.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story begins in the fictitious Waterbank, Illinois.  Jennifer, along with the people she meets, move out of Waterbank and head to Texas.

3. What should we know about her?

Jennifer Benton is a 23-year-old woman who finds herself in the start of the zombie apocalypse.  She's trapped inside her home, and she has to decide what to do next.  She knows her supplies won't last forever.  Jennifer tries to be smart about her decisions, but she is human.  She is not a perfect person.  Therefore, she makes mistakes along the way.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

Is Jennifer's main conflict zombies, or humans?  Zombies are easy to figure out.  If they come after you, you kill them.  However, human beings are not so easy to figure out.  As they say, "Fight the dead. Fear the living."

5. What is the personal goal of the character?

Jennifer's goal is survival.  It's the goal of every human being in the zombie apocalypse.  In addition, she's fallen in love with a character by the name of Mark.  So her goal is enhanced, because not only does she want to survive, but she wants to survive with him.

6. What is the title of the novel, and where can we find out more?

Jennifer Benton is found in Benton: A Zombie Novel, Volume One and Benton: A Zombie Novel, Volume Two.  Also, narrator Angie Hickman has brought her to life in the audio book of Benton #1.   You can listen to the entire audio book for free with an Audible trial.  The trial includes two free audiobooks; you can choose from 150,000 titles, and after 30 days Audible is $14.95 a month.  You can cancel at anytime!  Listen to the sample below:



7. When was the book published?

The first Benton book was published in May of 2014.

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Next up is author William D. Richards.  He is the author of Aggadeh Chronicles Book 1: Nobody. Years of dreaming about writing a book finally became a reality for William D. Richards when he found himself out of work and unable to find employment in an industry that downsized itself right out of existence. With a number of ideas for stories to write, he jokes it was a flip of the coin that chose which to start with. But the truth was, it was a passage of music that inspired his decision to begin with his fantasy series, Aggadeh Chronicles. Visit his blog at: http://blog.williamdrichards.com